Game On: Hornets @ Pistons

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Published: December 19, 2010

I know people are freaking out that we took the Marcus banner down, but we are keeping it in a vault for the playoffs and have preserved its Mojo. For now, lets thank Dariusz Ejkiewicz again for his work and move forward with a new false god to worship. The Italian Stallion, Marco Belinelli.

As for the game; these two met just eleven days ago in what may have been the most boring and unwatchable game of the season thus far. Even that Philadelphia game had some exciting dunks by some of the Sixers wing players. Against Detroit, the Hornets got off to a fast start and never really looked back, winning 93-74 in what may have been Marco Belinelli’s best game of the season.

Despite how well the Hornets looked on Friday night, I don’t expect this game to be as easy as the last meeting between the two for a couple of reasons. For one, Detroit is much better at home than they are on the road. Yes I know that they just lost to the Clippers at home by 21 Friday night, but before that they were a .500 team at home and lets not forget how horrible the Hornets looked last time they traveled to a poor Eastern Conference teams’ house.

Secondly, the Pistons actually did fairly well on the boards in the last matchup despite the fact that statistically they are 30th in the league in rebounding. In their last matchup, the Pistons got nearly 30 percent of the rebounds off the shots they missed. The Hornets, on the other hand, finished with only 4 offensive rebounds despite missing 37 shots. And finally, the Hornets have just been awful on Sunday’s: 75 points scored at Sacramento, a 14 point loss against the Spurs after leading by almost 20, a 25 point loss at San Antonio, and an 18 point loss at Philly in which they only scored 70 points. 1-3 in Sunday games, averaging 81 PPG. Not good.

For Ryan’s in depth look at each matchup, look here.

The great thing about the TrueHoop network is that we have experts at our fingertips for each and every team, so I decided to take advantage of that and hit up Dan Feldman of Piston Powered to answer a few questions on the Pistons:

Hornets 247: What has been Detroit’s best five-man lineup this season?

Dan Feldman: Oh boy, that’s a bit of a loaded question. Detroit has tinkered with its rotation so much already, I’m not sure there’s a relevant answer. I’ll go with Rodney Stuckey-Ben Gordon-Tracy McGrady-Charlie Villanueva-Greg Monroe, but I can’t guarantee you’ll see that group out there tonight. Stuckey is having his best season as a pro, and he plays a little better when he stays on the court with the reserves, who are more willing to push the pace and keep the ball moving.

24/7: How has Louisiana native Greg Monroe looked in his first season as a pro?

DF: I’m a huge Monroe fan. I liked him coming into the draft, and I’ve been more impressed since. Detroit kept him on the bench its first two games after he didn’t hustle much in the preseason, and he definitely got the message. Since entering the rotation, he’s rebounded like crazy and given maximum effort on defense. He seems a little flustered on offense, and he gets his shot blocked way, way, way, way, way — seriously, I might be leaving out a couple ways — too much. The Pistons don’t use him in the high post enough to take advantage of his passing, but I suspect that’s because it’s so obvious he’s not ready for NBA speed on that end. With the rest of the season to adjust and offseason to gain strength, I think he’ll be much improved next season.

24/7: When these two teams matched up nearly two weeks ago, Detroit only managed to score 74 points and only scored over 20 points in one quarter. Was that because of fatigue due to it being a back-to-back or has this been an ongoing problem for the Pistons?

DF: The Pistons probably blamed it on the back-to-back, but they’ve been all too quick to make excuses this year. That was a mentally-weak effort against New Orleans last time. My favorite stat from that game: no Piston had a positive plus-minus at halftime, and all the Pistons who played in the first also posted negative plus-minuses in the second half. Unfortunately, the effort hasn’t improved since. Pistons fans have been left debating whether blowing a 25-point second-half lead to the lowly Raptors or giving the Clippers their first road win since last March — by 21 points! — is Detroit’s lowest moment. That Hornets game is probably third, so that type of effort is an ongoing problem.

24/7: It seems like in several of Detroit’s wins this year, Charlie Villaneuva has gone off, and when they get blown out, he is a no-show in the box score. Is it safe to say that this team goes as Charlie V goes?

DF: I don’t know if I’d go that far. The Pistons’ wins have been so few and far between, I don’t think they’ve established a rhyme or reason to them. I will say this about Villanueva: he’s one of only two Pistons who plays hard every game, with Greg Monroe being the other. (Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady would fit into that group if physical limitations didn’t slow them here and there.) But when Villanueva combines his energy with a shot that’s falling, he can be a pretty dynamic force.

24/7: You are the Pistons GM and New Orleans is on the phone. Offer me a trade or two that is reasonable for both sides, citing why it benefits both teams.

DF: These two teams probably aren’t a match as trading partners. Both have unstable ownership situations and probably want to trim salary because of that. Here’s the best I could come up with: Willie Green and Jason Smith for Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers. The Hornets get Maxiell, who has actually proven himself a very capable backup center, and Summers, who might be an OK backup wing if given minutes. Both those guys have been squeezed out of Detroit’s crowded rotation. The Pistons get Maxiell’s contract off the books, an alright backup shooting guard in case Richard Hamilton or Ben Gordon is traded and a 7-footer they can pray they can turn into a competent defender.

Final Notes:

– My fiancee is stepping in for Ryan, and we are recording our Podcast tonight after the game- PLEASE send in any questions you want answered. Either post them here or in the forum. Thank you.

– Hornets are 4.5 point favorites, a full point higher than the line’s opening at 3.5. The gamblers are betting heavy on the Hornets. Just a crazy, random fact- both teams are .500 this season Against the Spread: Hornets 12-12-1 and Detroit is 13-13.

– Expect a low scoring game. If you remove last years game at Detroit, neither team has scored more than 95 points against the other in the last 3 years.

83 comments
QueenBee
QueenBee

The Hornets have to have the right personnel in the games in crunch time. They have to run the right plays for the right personnel in crunch time.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

A few thoughts 1) Monty had some awful awful play calls. Really running an iso with one screen for chris to take it to the rack? so easy to defend. Running one on ones all ot and end of regulation with d west? why not call an actual play? Awful coaching this game sorry monty 2) Willie... make a FREAKING FT. 2-4 down the stretch is awful and u let that corner three jesus christ ur a big reason we lost the game 3) please can we stop playing belly. he is not good. he was getting burned on the defensive end and can not do anything good offensively for the life of him 4) someone needs to tell ariza to just play defense thats all he is good at

QueenBee
QueenBee

The only d*mn basket Maxiell makes all night and he's celebrating like he's never done anything before. Good for you Jason. SMH. I'm surprised Ariza doesn't lead the league in turnovers. He seems to make so many dumb ones.

Foerever504
Foerever504

maybe monty only plays marcus at home because he doesn't want the fans to Mutiny

QueenBee
QueenBee

Yeah that must be it. Hahaha!

JS
JS

I don't get why belinelli is in there whether it was bynum or gordon they were just blowing by him if Monty complains about Thorntons defense well hes looking like a hypocrit with belinelli in there. What do you guys think?

George
George

Even the pistons missing every free throw down the stretch couldn't help us win. We were lucky to even be in it at the end willie green double dribbled as well. When will Okafor learn not move on those screens?

QueenBee
QueenBee

You're right. How many of those does he get each game? It drives me crazy! He's been in the league long enough. It's CP3's fault though. LOL! Somehow, it'll be his fault.

edbballin504
edbballin504

Just when you get excited about this team again (i.e. the last home game blowout win vs Utah), they do this to us. So disappointing! Another thing...MT5 only 12 minutes...wtf??? Can we just go ahead and trade Willie Green tomorrow so MT5 is forced to be in the game more. Why is it that the fans love him and see his impact on games, yet the coach doesn't??

JLImagine
JLImagine

I'm starting to really question some of Monty's decisions. Absolutely no way you have Marcus out of the game with .5 to go, and why have Green and Belinelli in there at the end of regulation, both of which had their hand in losing the lead at the end of regulation.

da_freshness
da_freshness

Damn Saints and The Hornets today. Gonna be a Horrible weak... At least we are undefeated when Marcus plays over 21 min or more.

CP3nBrees
CP3nBrees

Thanks for missing 2 critical FTs and letting Gordon hitting the game tying 3 Willie!

edbballin504
edbballin504

Please explain to me what Willie does so well that MT5 doesnt or cant do??? Willie needs to move to the end of the bench...he was good for us the first few weeks he was here, but its clearly time to give his minutes to someone else. Its not that hard to see, yet Monty is in love with this guy! smh. How can another player do these type of things to the team and gets yanked, yet Willie F's us up all the time and he still gets all this time. Favoritism to the fullest.

QueenBee
QueenBee

No sh*t. Down the stretch the Hornets could've been up 4 twice but 2 missed free throws leaving you up only 3 only leaves the d*mn door open.

Foerever504
Foerever504

why not play marcus in over time

QueenBee
QueenBee

Good question. I thought he should've been in too.

Hornets188
Hornets188

unreal, you have got to be kidding me

m-W
m-W

Well Monty. Way to let your "defense first team" give up 31 and 28 to one of the worst teams in the league, missing three key players.

George
George

why not put marcus in for the final shot? i'd sure as hell rather him taking it over ariza

thekeymaster
thekeymaster

wow once again ariza with a bad pass on an inbounds, is monty a f'ing retard or does he just not notice how bad ariza is at passing the ball in

QueenBee
QueenBee

I don't know how long it's gonna take for Monty to realize this.

Holy Cow
Holy Cow

How can a professional be so horrible at inbounding the basketball? This has to be at least 5 - 6 times that Ariza has choked the inbounds pass. Horrible loss.

Mark
Mark

Ariza is inbounding because he's a terrible recipient of the inbounds pass. He doesn't pass well, his offensive game is moot, and his FT% is abysmal (if the opposing team wants to just foul the recipient). Actually, I'm not sure why he's even playing during clutch, since he's such a terrible offensive player.

QueenBee
QueenBee

I agree. We're trying too hard to involve Ariza in offense. Heck, you're right in that he probably shouldn't even be playing in the clutch. Even if the Hornets had to be crucial in clutch on defense (which is more his thing) instead of Trevor drawing a charge he'd probably screw that up and get called for a blocking foul. SMH.

QueenBee
QueenBee

No effing business losing this game. None.

JCS
JCS

Face. In. Palm.

edbballin504
edbballin504

For the 100th time this season...Ariza cant inbound pass the ball. Someone tell me why he's still always taking it out please!

JLImagine
JLImagine

Unfortunately, I have been asking myself that too. TAKE THE TIMEOUT THERE MAN!!!!!! Pretty sad last 8 or so minutes of that game. Poorly played hornets against a pretty bad team. And Chris Paul seemed to get affected way too much by that block at the end of regulation as he didn't try scoring as much as he should have. Pretty bad game by the Hornets. You cannot lose games like this since the Western Conference is so competitive - have to beat the bad Easter Conference teams - even if it is on the road. Speaking of which, we are pretty terrible on the road.

ollie
ollie

love the moving screen

beedaT
beedaT

it's hard to overvalue how much trevor's d has helped get w's!

m-W
m-W

DX rocks.

Foerever504
Foerever504

GOT DAMN IT WHY DID U CHANGE THE BANNER

QueenBee
QueenBee

Yeah. Should've left it up at least until the Hornets returned home.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Come on Xavier Hall of Famer!

George
George

oh no, down by 5 in o.t. we need offense from marcus

Schmide234
Schmide234

yea so willie green cant hit freethrows and marco cant stay infront of Gordon. great

QueenBee
QueenBee

Hornets better play tight stern D.

QueenBee
QueenBee

NOOOOOO!!!! We don't need to be in overtime with these guys on their homecourt. Jesus.

42
42

I wonder if Chris should have gone for the assist there or taken it to the rim.

cadillacjacques
cadillacjacques

If he would have gone for the assist and someone else would have missed everyone would be wanting to cruciy him for not taking over the game in the clutch. I think he made the right move, its the 1 in 50 times it didnt work out for him.

QueenBee
QueenBee

CP3 is damned if he do, damned if he don't over here.

42
42

He is good, but he's not a 98% scorer.

QueenBee
QueenBee

If he would have there would have been at least 5 people here saying he should have taken it if the person he passed to missed it.

m-W
m-W

Well, middle finger to all of you who wanted an interesting and watchable game. I'll take my blowouts.

42
42

I agree. I like boring games. If I want to watch something thrilling, I have the other games in the NBA.